The quilt I made on Beyonce's birthday

I overheard that Beyonce turned 33 today, one of the little quilt squares the radio handed me this morning as I was rushing out the door. Every day I make a quilt from these handouts: worn bits of fabric, the crusts of bread cut from sandwiches, sneezes and spilled popcorn and half-comprehended news bulletins from the radio. I thread them clumsily together throughout the day, grabbing a moment to stitch and form a seam, fumbling through the hallways of academic buildings as the threads come unspooled.

I will try to wind them around the spool later as I sit by the beds of my children; I am held a willing hostage to the Frozen soundtrack, which we cannot let go of--the irony.

I try to add the moment this morning where I stood outside of my son's classroom, a spectator to him calling his sister, already at the other end of the hall. I grab the square where she turned on her heels and came back and hugged her little brother. Where we could have had loose ends, a gaping hole in the quilt where the hallway meltdown ripped apart our efforts to all have a good morning, our girl busted out one important stitch.

I will patch the part later where our boy told me my stomach was the size of a chicken. I will try not allow that patch to call too much attention to itself, as did our boy when he told me over frozen yogurt, "Well, your tummy IS really BIG." I will remember how I accepted his apology, just as the other quilt squares will absorb this unwieldy one into the whole.

This is the quilt I will wrap myself in at the end of the day, pondering what Beyonce will do as she begins this new year of life. What kind of silks and imported fibers will she have to work with for her own quilt; how will the couture fitting go and will she wear it better than anyone else?

I am the only one who will see my quilt, who will know the places where I pricked myself trying to bridge all the scattered pieces. I will run my hand over its ripples and edges and shoddy patchwork and I will call it significant, real, mine, beautiful.


P.S. Happy Birthday, Bey.